Kick off Chicago’s Craft Beer Week May 19 Under Glass

May 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Tom Keith

The glassed-in Garfield Park Conservatory (300 North Central Park Ave. Chicago, just off the Green Line’s Conservatory-Central Park ‘L’ stop) is a wondrous place. Think of it as the Lincoln Park Conservatory on steroids, with some of the most exquisite plant life on the planet. How could anything possibly be better?

How, you ask? Add beer.

Thursday, May 19, at 5:30 pm, kicks off Chicago Craft Beer week, and the kickoff event is at the Garfield Park Conservatory. With over 25 mostly local brews, and food from a number of acclaimed local chefs, this event, sponsored by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild and the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, should be a good time.

I’m too lazy to spell out all the details, but if you want to see what you’ll get for your $40 ticket, follow this link:

There are some great breweries that will show up, but be aware that not every brewery is great. If you’ve been reading the beer articles on The Local Beet, you’ll know which ones may be demoted to your second-string list. But many of them are world-class brewers.

For example, I’ve recently been pleasantly surprised by newcomer Lake Barrington’s Paddy Pale Ale from Wild Onion brewery. Despite mediocre reviews, I found it to be a pleasant, aggressively-hopped version of an American Pale Ale. I found it to display a lemony aroma, pine, grapefruit notes balancing the malt, maybe a bit thin, with a rather frothy but reasonably full head.

I do find the Irish imagery on a can of American, British-style Pale Ale a little bit of a disconnect, though

If you can’t make it to Garfield Park, don’t fear – there’s plenty more going on all week. And for a $10 passport, you can get into them all. Check out:

If you look at the Google map on that site, you’ll see that most of the activity is downtown. But there’s one outlier, which, happily, is just a few blocks from my house.

Evanston’s Prairie Moon in Evanston (1502 Sherman Ave.) will host 4 events, kicking off the week with a special evening with the Evanston Homebrew Club:

• Thirsty Thursday—Homebrewers of the World Unite! May 19

• Firkin Friday with Arcadia Ales. May 20

• Great Lakes Brewing Company… Great Beer and a Great Brewer. May 23

• New Holland Brewing Company… Hell Yeah! May 25

It’ll be a great week for beer.